Either from the history channel or the movie I am sure you are familiar with the tragedy of the titanic. The sinking of the unsinkable ship and the human denial and\or preserved ignorance that exacerbated the tragedy by rejecting the possibility of the ship sinking in both preparation (not enough life rafts) and during the journey (traveling at excessive speeds while ignoring the treacherous terrain). This week a friend compared the tragedy to the current state of the ecological crisis and I was struck by it.
A recent study by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that, ‘Greenhouse gas levels currently expected by mid-century will produce devastating long-term droughts and a sea-level rise that will persist for 1,000 years regardless of how well the world curbs future emissions of carbon dioxide.’ The dramatic rise in CO2 is also making the ocean more acidic which has other drastic consequences. This is serious stuff and not something we can ignore any longer.
In just the last 200 years since humanity developed the technology able to contribute to this problem we have amassed consequences that will last over a thousand years. We have already set ourselves on a tragic course that will greatly effect the world’s poor and our future generations even more.
While at first I thought comparing the ecological crisis to the Titanic was a bit much, after beginning to think about it more it might be more accurate than I thought. Our overconfidence in human machinery, obsession with our own power, and ignorance of the world around us has brought us here. We’ve already done so much damage, we can’t stall changing now. This is indeed a conversation we need to have.